The Bass Geek - Words about Music, Circuitry, and New Orleans
The Bass Geek
20Jul/124

Thoughts on Apple’s Podcast App

Sure, other apps like Stitcher Radio provide the functionality that Apple's Podcast app does (pulling together different progranms into a single feed), but I bit on the Podcast app because I already had my podcast subscriptions set up inside iTunes. The subscriptions themselves synced fine, but I decided to unsubscribe in iTunes and just stream the episodes. Two drawbacks:

  • Had to resubscribe to all podcasts inside the app - it didn't carry over
  • Got a nice warning that I was going over 3GB on streaming - time to turn on the WiFi

I also had a full crash where I had to delete, reinstall, and resubscribe all podcasts. Feh.

That said, I'm saving a ton of space by not actually downloading the episodes anymore (LOT of music on my iPhone), and the unplayed podcast list works dandy. Needs some improvement, but overall a keeper.

And yes, I still listen to podcasts like it's 2009 and stuff.

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22Dec/111

New (and Last) IMN Podcasts

The last IMN podcasts are up - download them at the site. You can also listen to one of the episodes on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm. But not the one with the dirty words. That's download only.

And that's it. Thanks for listening, to all those that listened. Thanks for voting, all those that voted. Thanks for contributing, all those that gave us music. Hopefully, we got folks to hear some great music they otherwise would not have listened to. There have always been great bands that were criminally under-listened, but the podcast and the site presented the opportunity to remedy that situation for a few years. Glad everybody that found each other did, and please stay in touch.

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15Dec/110

New IMN Podcast and Bass Track

The new IMN podcast is up - download it or listen at the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm. Next week is the last one.

While recording a track for Gabe Harley last week (actually, several tracks for the same song - you can never have TOO many options for bass lines), I was able to sneak in a little time for the cover of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" I performed last month. I'm getting it mastered and such right now, so look for it to pop up on Soundcloud soon. Just for fun.

17Nov/110

New IMN Podcast and Music Services

The new IMN podcast is up - download it here or listen on the site or WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm.

So now that iTunes Match and Google Music are available, I'm thinking that Google might have have come up with the winning service here - if only because it's free (versus $24.99/year for iTunes match). You might have to spend a little more time and effort to upload the tracks, but the mobile version of the site played just fine on my iPhone browser. And that's key - if it's mobile and browser-based, you'll (theoretically) be able to get it on more devices. The interesting thing to me is that both services don't restrict necessarily by size - they restrict by number of songs (25,000 for iTunes Match vs. 20,000 for Google). There might be some file limit size, but cloud storage is evidently cheap enough that they're not worried about it anymore. Toss in Amazon, and all three will hold on to the music you buy for you (unless you're an ubercollector and have too many songs).

But this all sounds a lot like the debut of Best Buy nationwide to me - remember when CDs were loss-leaders to get you to buy more at Best Buy? Music is still a loss-leader for these companies, and only the products have changed. Apple wants to sell hardware, Google wants to sell you as part of their advertising and analytics ventures (as do streaming services like MOG, Spotify, and more), and Amazon wants to sell . . . everything else they sell on Amazon. The convenience and portability of the music is wonderful, but there's actually been precious little shift in the ecosystem for these larger companies. The content drives the purchasing of other goods, and that leaves music in a surprising familiar neighborhood for all of the recent changes.

10Nov/110

New IMN Podcast and more Tonic Ball News

The new IMN podcast is up - download it or listen at the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm.

The good folks at Tonic Ball just posted the lineup for the Michael Jackson stage at this year's event - take a look at the scheduled goodness here:

  • Ryan Williams - Human Nature + an original
  • Freddie T and the People - Don't Stop Til You Get Enough and Can You Feel It
  • The Calumet Reel - I Want You Back
  • Skyhunter - Smooth Criminal and Say Say Say
  • Rob Vargo - The Way You Make Me Feel and Ain't No Sunshine
  • PK and the Big Stir - I'm Going Back to Indiana and Money Honey
  • Buster Eagle - Leave Me Alone + an original
  • Household Guns - Dirty Diana + an original
  • The Trumans - Man in the Mirror and Billie Jean
  • Henry French - Pretty Young Thing
There's also REM and David Bowie stages, and the section of Prospect St. between these venues are going to be MADNESS. Really looking forward to this event, and I think I should practice now. Go get your tickets!
3Nov/110

New IMN Podcast and Home Recording For Musicians For Dummies

The new IMN podcast is up - download it or listen at the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm. Only a few more shows left!

I was grateful to receive my copy of Home Recording For Musicians For Dummies in the mail a few days ago - this is the second edition to which I was able to contribute technical editing, and Jeff Strong's book turned out wonderfully. This project is exciting for a couple of reasons. First, it's starting to take into account the ability for mobile devices to provide recording capabilities to the home recordists. I can remember classes in 2001 where the professor talked about one day having virtual touchscreens control audio in the studio, and that day is here. And for a lot cheaper than I expected it to be. Second, the book demonstrates that, no matter what tools you use, a little knowledge and common sense goes a long way. Go get the latest edition - thanks!

20Oct/110

New IMN Podcast and Restringing my 5-String

The new IMN podcast is up - download it or listen at the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm.

I've been threatening to take my 5-string bass from a low B to a high C string for a bit - it's a bass that doesn't get a ton of use, and the neck seems unusually sensitive to weather and needs more adjustment (especially in the summer) than I'm always comfortable with. After my last round of tweaking and the recent cold weather, though, the bass seems to have calmed a bit. I'm going to take it on a few shows this week to see what I think, but I'l still considering the move. I like what Matthew Garrison has been doing with a similarly stringed bass, and my move towards more solo songs and looping (plus the chordal studies I took from Todd Johnson) make it seem a good move.

I'm just cheap and don't want to run through a set of strings, I suppose. 🙂 The only set I've found for 5-strings with a high C are the Fodera Matthew Garrison sets (I'm sure they're out there, but my research continues), so I'll give it a shot when I can throw away some string money.

6Oct/110

New IMN Podcast – For Now

The new IMN podcast is up - download it or listen at the site or on WFYI-HD2, Thursdays at 4pm or 10pm.

Until the end of the year, that is. Then, it's over. We're shutting down the site and making it an archive, with no new content. And that includes the podcast. It's had a good 6+ year run, but it's time to move on to something else. Get 'em while you can, folks.

29Sep/110

New IMN Podcast and Fun Loopy Goodness

The new IMN Podcast is up - download it or listen at the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm.

I'd been playing with the Everyday Looper on the iPad for a bit, and it's a useful tool (especially the ability to arm tracks and import music loops). As much as they tried to customize the touchscreen for two-handed players, though, it could be a little awkward to play and loop at the same time. One of their recent updates added MIDI control for start, stop, and record functions, though. And then I paired it with the iPad's Camera Connection Kit and the SoftStep foot controller. So, for the full setup, that's the SoftStep going into the USB port on the 30-pin connection, and the bass going into an iRig in the headphone jack.

Success! The app took MIDI controls quite easily - I'm using the SoftStep in Toggle mode to trigger the looper, and the Everyday Looper accepts multiple commands for the same control. So you enter both the 0 and 127 levels of the toggle for start, stop, and record, and you're good to go. That way, there's no double-tapping the button to get the desired effect. The added benefit that I didn't even plan was that every new record attempt automatically bounces to the next track. You're never recording over the stuff you've already recorded.

I'd love to see future updates use the X-Y capabilities of the SoftStep to handle volume on the looped tracks, but that can wait - I'm having too much fun now.

22Sep/110

New IMN Podcast and the Return of Cabaret Poe

The new IMN podcast is up - download it or listen at the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm.

Cabaret Poe opens this year the evening of Saturday, October 1st, and I'm really excited to be part of this year's production as well. Two performances have already sold out, so get your tickets early and take in the haunting spectacle.

I don't think I'll bring out the SoftStep for this show, but only because I'm still scratching the surface of what this pedal is capable of doing. I'm seeing possibilities for not only triggered notes, loop, and transport controls, but this thing can also control all kinds of elements on your computer as well (managed to create and save a text document with my feet a couple of days ago). This kind of complexity can lead you down the rabbit hold rather quickly (I spent half-an-hour trying to get back some basic configurations yesterday before finding my way back), but it's worth the effort so far.